Corey Bender

Irish A-to-Z: Dillan Gibbons

Gibbons was the first in the 21-man Class of 2017 to commit to the Irish. His road to playing time likely is several years removed with the depth on the interior.

Position: Offensive guard

National Ranking: Gibbons’ highest ranking came from Scout, which slated him as the No. 26 offensive guard. ESPN.com rated Gibbons No. 31 and Rivals slotted him at No. 56. 247Sports.com projected Gibbons as the No. 38 offensive tackle.

Irish Illustrated Rank: No. 19 out of 21. His highest rating from our staff was No. 15 while the lowest was No. 20, just ahead of kicker Jonathan Doerer.

Likelihood of Freshman Red-shirt: High

2017 PATH TO PLAYING TIME

If Gibbons logs playing time for the Irish in ’17, it will mean one of two things: the Irish were decimated by injuries or Gibbons was underrated, even as a four-star.

Quenton Nelson, Alex Bars, Hunter Bivin, Tristen Hoge (future Notre Dame status uncertain) and Trevor Ruhland are the top five guards with freshman Aaron Banks pushing for inclusion following a strong early-entry spring. Tommy Kraemer or Liam Eichenberg would move to guard if there were a need, as would Robert Hainsey or Josh Lugg, both of whom would get first crack ahead of Gibbons.

LONG-TERM PROJECTION

Considering the talent and depth the Irish have at guard, it likely will be 2019 before Gibbons – the first commitment in Notre Dame’s Class of 2017 -- is in position to push for playing time. He could be a candidate for snaps at center as well. It’s too early pre-hundreds-of-Notre Dame-practice-snaps to determine how Gibbons will fit, although it almost undoubtedly will come along the interior offensive line.

PLAYER COMPARISON

Since 2002, there have been two four-star interior offensive linemen that have signed with Notre Dame that weren’t among the Top 300 – Bob Morton and Dan Wenger. Morton, built more along the lines of Gibbons than Wenger, played 46 games for the Irish, starting 39. That’s a bit on the high side expectations-wise.

In terms of tenacity and demeanor, the best comparison is sophomore interior offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux, who currently is fighting for a spot on the Irish depth chart at guard/center.

QUOTABLE

“Dillan Gibbons…coachable…tremendous young man. Very determined to get it right. He wants to do what the program says you should do. Very eager to find out how good he can be. It’s super important to him. He’s got a tremendous attitude about how he can get better.” -- OL Coach Harry Hiestand

“We always look for linemen that want to push that line as far as playing through the whistle and not just up to the whistle, looking to finish their opponents off in a good way and saying they have a little bit of prick in them. Dillan definitely checks those boxes.

“You’ll see the passion of truly enjoying imposing his will on another person. He’s mentally tough. Won’t back down from a challenge. If you put something in front of him, he’ll just keep moving forward.”  -- Florida recruiter Autry Denson


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories